# lattice boom in compression - optimal design

Hello
Could you point me to some resources for studying:
Optimal design / specification for lattice-frame booms loaded in pure
compression - as you would find for classic derricks (gin-pole,
stiffleg-derrick, ...).
Can't carry books with me, so favour on-line learning resources.
I have studied trusses before (lattice frame loaded in beam) - for
small foot-bridge. I'm a metallurgist (scientist) and welder.
Already learned engineering concept that for compression members the
compression load limit may (is likely to be) limited by instability
(failure by local bucking) at below the compression yield force given
the cross-sectional area.
Anyone tell me about my conjecture and whether it is overcomplicated
(there's simplifying factors) or incomplete (there's other things to
be considered) or whatever...
My guess is that for a given mass per unit length, starting from a
very slender boom, the wider the spacing in cross-section of the
longitudinal members the higher the load-carrying capability - until
compression instability of the longer straight lengths of the lattice
"triangle sides" dominates and the optimum spacing of the longitudinal
structurals is passed. Then I have no clue what is the optimal size
of tube - for given mass per unit length the tube is stiffer if larger
diameter but if of larger diameter it must have smaller wall thickness
- hence buckling instability would limit how big is beyond optimum.
Then there is plastic design and damage tolerance which might make
smaller thicker tubes attractive for real applications.
Square cross-section (four longitudinal members) or triangular
cross-section (three longitudinal members)?
I'm thinking in the few metres length range. And makeable given a
stack of tube and a MIG, stick or TIG-welding machine
Haven't found anything in Blodgett "Design of welded structures" (US)
or The Steel Construction Institute's "Steel Designers; Manual"
(UK). (?)
If I came by a way of optimal and achievable design I might be able to
do some tests making and compressing some samples over the winter
season.
Richard Smith
Design guidance for lattice booms as used in cranes and derricks can be found in the following US publications.
"Lattice Crane Boom Systems - Analytical Procedure" J1093, Society of Automotive Engineers

"Guide for the Analysis of Guy and Stiffleg Derricks" American Institute of Steel Construction

I'm not sure if these standards are available in electronic form or only in print. Also, these are strictly design guides. They don't get into optimization. Sorting that out could be a nice little research project once you get up to speed on the design methods.
David Duerr, P.E. Houston, Texas
Recommend you go to FEA software from the start.
see what they recommend.
Further suggestion of FEA - surely you can go a long way with vector arithmetic in this case of "triangular units"?
Richard Smith
Dave writes:

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